Colombian Public Force Seizes about 8 Tons of Drugs in 1 Day
By Myriam Ortega/Diálogo July 24, 2020
Despite the COVID-19 health crisis, the Colombian Public Force seized about 8 tons of drugs in operations carried out in different parts of the country on June 9. Service members and police agents seized nearly 5 tons of cocaine and 3 tons of marijuana.
The Colombian National Police Counternarcotics Directorate dealt a serious blow to narcotrafficking organizations that operate in Buenaventura Port, Valle del Cauca department, in the Colombian coast of the Pacific, when authorities found 4,928 kilograms of cocaine. The drug, worth about $140 million on the international market, according to United Nations data, was bound for Central America, with Turkey as its final destination, the Ministry of Defense said in a press release.
In a parallel operation coordinated by the Counternarcotics Directorate and the Army’s Cauca Specific Command, through the 13th Land Operations Battalion, authorities seized 2,030 kg of marijuana at a tollbooth on the road to Tuluá municipality, Valle del Cauca. Authorities also captured the man who transported the drug, the Army said in a press release. The institution said that the operation was the result of a two-month monitoring effort in the rural area of Corinto, a marijuana production area in Cauca department.
“Once we managed to identify the vehicle that was carrying [the drug], it left our department, so we had to chase it until the Tuluá tollbooth, where we intercepted a vehicle […] carrying 2 tons of marijuana,” Army Brigadier General Marco Mayorga Niño, commander of the Cauca Specific Command, told Diálogo.
Another operation took place at a checkpoint on the Pan American Highway, in a rural area of Piendamó municipality, Cauca, where Army and Police units captured a man carrying 945 kg of marijuana in his vehicle. The drug likely belonged to the remnant organized armed group Dagoberto Ramos Mobile Column, the Military Forces General Command said in a statement.
For its part, through the Cartagena Coast Guard Station, the Navy intercepted a suspicious vessel in the waters of Cartagena Bay during maritime control operations. When the vessel’s crew saw the authorities, they jettisoned five containers into the sea and escaped. Coast Guard units recovered the containers with 64.7 kg of packaged marijuana.
From January 1 to June 4, according to data provided to the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, the Public Force seized 182,923 kg of cocaine and 188,249 kg of marijuana, 8 percent and 11 percent more than in the same period of 2019, respectively.